Friday, April 28, 2006

Today, May 1, is Love a Dork Day. (I started this post last Friday and even though I didn't post until today, blogger still thinks it is from Friday, errr.) Don't forget to love the cute dorks in your life, including yourself! I am going to celebrate by knitting (of course) and watching the Daily Show.

Had a pretty good knitting weekend. Spent Sat. evening working on my wedding wrap. I might have to buy another ball. I have almost done w/ one (have three total) and not sure that it is 1/3 of the length it needs to be yet.

G and I also went to a wine festival at Boordy vineyards, just north of Baltimore. It was nice. We got a few bottles of wine. I think their chilled wines are very good, especially the reisling. Wasn't a big fan of the reds. But all in all not bad for a local winery.

Then we went to Best Buy and Circuit City to look at small stereo systems (for music at the wedding) and cameras (!). I am close to deciding which digital camera I want. Then, I'll be able to post more pictures!

Have fun being dorks!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Great Music

Last night H and I went to Rams Head in Annapolis to see Hem. You really need to check out this band. They are kinda folky, kinda country (but only in the best way, as evident on their cover of Jackson). They do some covers (Jackson, as mentioned, The Tennessee Waltz--so pretty, so heartbreaking--and Rainy Night in Georgia are a few). But their own songs are even better. The Fire Thief is one of my favorite songs ever. Three of the band members write most of the songs. And they play instruments like: glockenspiel, mandolin, banjo (plus guitar, piano, bass, violin, etc.). Lead singer Sally Ellyson’s voice is heartbreakingly beautiful. Seems to be soft and light at first, but comes on strong later. Seriously, check them out.

They opened for Josh Ritter. At first I was disappointed b/c it meant a short set, but Josh was fantastic too! Again, he is kinda folky, but with more of a pop sound than Hem. You can listen to his latest album online. He is going on my cute dork list. First of all, he has this mop of curly red hair. And he was the happiest singer I’ve ever seen. He was so smiley all night and was having so much fun on stage. It was contagious. Plus he is from Idaho. How dorky is that?

No knitting updates today. I haven’t had a chance to work on my lace wedding wrap. I am just doing a rectangle w/ an even number of stiches. I then slip one knitwise, knit to together, yarn over, repeat k2t and yo across row until last stich, then knit. I don't know if this stich has a name. It was in my knitting pattern a day calendar for an airy scarf. I decided to it on size 6 needles, but that is as far as I got. Tonight Alias is on, so I should have plenty of knitting time.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Knitting and Tea

Two of my favorite things are knitting and tea. Earl Grey is my favorite. I love bergamot and all things citrusy. In fact, last year I bought some bergamot essential oils and some unscented shampoo and conditioner to mix up the perfect blend.

So then I found this knitters tea swap and am exited for my first blog swap. If you love tea, you should check it out.

This weekend my mom was here to meet the fiance's parents, both sets. My dad couldn't come b/c he had an operation thing on Tuesday and couldn't travel. So it was just mom and me. And we took advantage of the time to visit a different yarn shop every day. First on Friday, we went to a boutique in Mount Washington to buy her mother-of-the-bride dress. It is perfect! A knee-length, fitted cocktail dress w/ bright orange, pink, turquoise and green flowers and a some sequins. The reception is in my parents backyard. Think elegant picnic. We are really doing a DIY wedding. Food will be fancy sandwiches. Music will be compiled from itunes. Lots of fairy lights on the trees and flowers planted, etc. So the dress she found will fit perfectly.

But we found it right away. No, this is a good thing, but I thought it would take all afternoon and several shops. So when I asked her what she wanted to do for the rest of the afternoon, she said: "Is there a yarn shop nearby?" And of course Woolworks was just down the road. So we stopped in. She bought a pattern and I bought some notions. No yarn. We were both very good.

Saturday was the day when everybody met up for lunch at Bonapart in Fells Point. Of course it was raining all day, but it let up for a few hours, just enough for us to walk around the neigborhood. And of course, that meant a stop in A Good Yarn. I love this shop, even though it is so small. The women who work there are the friendliest and most helpful of any yarn shop I've been to. The woman that day gave me info for Larissa about finishing sweaters and she spent a lot of time going over the yarn. Sadly we didn't buy anything that day. But I am thinking of taking the store's drop in sweater class on Sundays.

So, in between all of the meeting and shopping, I swatched my sock yarn on my mom's size 1 and 0 needles. I think I need to go to a 00 because I knit soooo loose. Of course, I thought I was going to break the 0s so I may have to learn to knit tighter.

So, Sunday couldn't come w/o another trip to a yarn shop. I've been working on a project for the wedding. My dress came last week! yeah! Only it is a little booby and I thought I could knit a simple lace wrap that would sit off my shoulders and cover the boobs for the church part. I picked up some cream yarn from my stash that I used in the Mexican shawl. This was a Lions Brand Microspun. And while very soft and nice in that shawl, it was driving me crazy for the wedding wrap. I kept splitting it. And mom said that I should get something real, something natural for it and then she offered to buy new yarn for me! So, off we went on Sunday to Cloverhill in Catonsville. The shop's April sale yarn is Manos cotton. They had it in a beautiful cream and now I am using that. Yeah! So much nicer, so much prettier. Thanks mom!

So, all in all a good knitting weekend. Oh, and the meeting of the in-laws-to-be went very well too. Everyone had a great time at dinner at Della Notte. If you ever go, get the crepes w/ mushrooms and goat cheese appetizer. I could have eaten a whole plate of them.

Monday, April 17, 2006


I found this helpful sock tutorial for the beginning sock knitter.

I bought some Trekking XXL sock yarn on Sat. and am excited and scared to try my first sock. But, I have 10 projects on my knitting to do list so it might be a few months before I get to the socks.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Love a Dork Day

This will be my last post about dorks (for the near future at least). After reading part 1, Larissa suggested that there should be a dork holiday. I searched and there are two:

There is already a Be a Dork Day (July 15) and Dress Like a Dork Day (October 19).

But I didn't find a Love a Dork Day. I know there are a lot dork lovers out there and I think we should celebrate that. So I proclaim that May 1 (May Day) should be Love a Dork Day. So on May 1, do something to love your dork. Maybe knit something for your dorks or yourself, you adorable dork, you. Or cook something yummy or read them something from a good book (my dork and I read Savage Love together) or whatever. Just tell your dorks how much you appreciate and love their dorkiness.

Have fun!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Famous Cute Dorks

I continue my ode to dorks. Some famous cute dorks include:

Conan O'Brien
Jon Stewart (quite possibly the cutest famous dork)
Clay Aiken (back when he first appeared on American Idol, these days he is more fabulous than dork, but you can't ever completely expel the dork)
Sean Astin (Sam the hobbit, also from Goonies and Rudy)
Ross on Friends (Russ sometimes stradles the line between cute and bad dork)
Ellen (the best exmple of a cute famous female dork)
Tina Fey
Camron Diaz's character in Charlie's Angels
Bridget Jones
Bonnie Hunt
Jamie Lee Curtis
Anne Hathaway
Natalie Portman (She mostly annoys me, but all the boy dorks love her and I am told she seems very dorky on talk shows)
Dar Williams (am told she is very dorky in person and in concert. Yeah!)
David Allen Greer (love him! So sad when Life With Bonnie was canceled)
Norah Jones (very dorky, very cute)
Zack Braff
Kaylee on Firefly (OK, just mentioning this makes me eligible for biggest dork of the year--but really it was Larissa who suggested her, so L is eligible for biggest dork award)
Tracy Chapman
The entire band of Hem
Janine Garofalo (she comes to mind immediately as a dorky actress and she is cute, but sometimes she seems to be too angry to be labeled a cute dork. Cute dorks can get angry, of course, like anybody, but they aren't angry all the time.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Love a Dork

Do you have dork love? What? Ok, so dorks, I love dorks. Cute dorks. And I know I am not the only one. My roomie Larissa shares this trait. And knitters are often some kind of dork, mostly cute ones! We're crafty and creative and prefer to spend our free time shopping at LYS or browsing knitty and knitpicks instead of the mall. (Ok, I don't want to lump all knitters into one group: I know we are all different, some are trendy and hip, some are funky, punky, some are young, some are old, some like to hike, some like to watch Firefly--speaking of dorks--some cook, some ballroom, contra, salsa, belly dance, some garden, some are sexy, some are frumpy, etc. etc. And some do all of these and more in the same day. One of the things I love most about the knitting explosion is the wide variety of us out there. But a lot of us are kinda dorky, only in the best way, read on.)

Cute dorks are dorks who are cute, but not necessarily the studliest guys (or girls; there are cute girl dorks too, but my fascination is w/ the boy kind). They often have glasses, a funny smile. Sometimes they HAVE NO IDEA just how cute they are.

There is a difference between bad dorks and good (or cute) dorks. Bad dorks tend to have a chip on their shoulders. They have dork 'tude, if you will. Take a dorky thing like loving Star Wars (obviously most people like Star Wars; I am talking about those who REALLY love it). There could be two dudes waiting in line to buy tickets to an opening night showing. One guy acknowledges that this is kind of a silly thing to do, he knows it is dorky. He smiles, shrugs, realizes that the world may label him a dork. But it is OK because he'll say something like "hey, I'm a dork. I live with it. I like it." When Triumph the Insult Comic Dog visits, he laughs at himself. But the bad dork refuses to see that it might be just a tad silly to be dressed like Luke Skywalker and wait in line for a month. He gets angry at Triumph for poking fun. He does not laugh at himself, he does not label himself a dork. He is an extreme dork and yet he does not want to be one.

So in short, cute dorks love being a dork. But bad dorks do not. They might not want to do body shots on MTV spring break, but they are not comfortable enough w/ their own dorkiness. It is a sad sight.

Just about everybody in the world is some kind of dork. I say embrace your inner dork. Love it. Let it out! Go be dorky!

Friday, April 07, 2006

More on Scarves

This is one of my favorite scarves. It is an easy drop stitch pattern, but the result is lovely, especially with a chunky yarn like this.

I found the yarn (Museum by Artful Yarns) a year ago at The Yarn Garden in Annapolis. I fell, fell, fell for it. I just wanted to dive into the blue and swirl around in it. The color is so rich, which I know is a description more often used with warm colors, reds, browns, etc., but here it also works for blue. I bought the two skeins in the store and then promptly put them in my stash baskets. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it. I loved how chunky and dread-like the yarn was and wanted to so something to showcase that. And since I only had two skeins, I figured it would be some type of scarf.

So the summer passed and I worked on other projects (actually didn’t knit much last summer; it was my first experience w/ a Baltimore summer and I found it too hot to knit). Then came fall and I was busy working on Christmas projects. But occasionally, I took the yarn out and drank it in. Then after Christmas, I discovered a drop stick scarf pattern and knew right away that it was perfect for the blue.

It knit up very fast. In fact, I think I did the bulk (sorry, bad pun) of it on a flight to Milwaukee. I worked at the office headquarters that week and was so excited to have a new scarf to show off! A testament to how much I love this yarn: wool makes me itch, especially around the neck, but I wear this scarf anyway.

While I was in Milwaukee, my mom and I went to the Grafton Yarn Store, which is an old mill in this small Wisconsin town. What a great store! Just prior to my trip home, I attended my first knitting meetup and was inspired by a scarf a woman was working on. She was making a striped diagonal garter scarf with all different yarns and I loved it! So, at the Grafton store, I bought a bunch of yarn to make my own. I get compliments on this every time I wear it and every where I go: at restaurants, Rite Aid, even yarn shops! It would be a great stash project since you don’t need a lot of any kind of yarn.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Knitting Vacations

Has anybody ever taken a vacation just to knit? I have knit on vacations, but some days when I wake up I wish I could devote the entire day to knitting. Of course, there are the weekends, but right now weekends are full of work (wedding and other work) or planned out for weeks ahead of time (invite assembly this weekend, then Easter—-we’re starting a tradition of having roasted squash and sausage risotto. I can’t even tell you how yummy this is. We started this last year and the tradition continues! But I should get some good knitting time Easter weekend too, especially at the Wallace and Gromit knit fest meetup. Then the parents are all coming to meet each other—-except my dad can’t because he has to have a procedure called ablation to zap some overactive pacemaker cells around his heart; it has a low risk of complications so I am not too worried, but sad he can’t come too and it is a reminder that dads are not indestructible. Also this same weekend my wedding dress is coming! See this link, only my lace will be gold, not red. Then I am off to Wisconsin for a shower, then … then I think I have a free weekend! Amazing. So, back to my point: I want a mid-week day to just sit and knit w/ no distractions. Sadly, I think I’ll use most of my vacation this year on wedding, honeymoon, Thanksgiving, etc.

Working at home, it is VERY tempting to knit. But I resist. Employer: I really do. I don’t knit on the job. Sometimes I might go into my room to pet something and look longingly at it, but just for a minute. I don’t want to jeopardize this gig.

So, maybe next year, I’ll budget a whole day of just knitting day into my vacation schedule.

Last night at the Baltimore Knitting Meetup, someone mentioned a knitting cruise! Our ideal cruise would offer classes AND have vendors. But I think that could be dangerous. Seven days of yarn shopping could be scary.

More pictures:
I mentioned in my last post that I have no shortage of scarves. And it is true, as this picture demonstrates.

These scarves don’t all belong to me: one is my roommate’s. And the picture does not include the non-hand knitted scarves that we own. Yet, still, I make more. I love scarves. They are so undemanding and so functional or pretty or functional and pretty. And soft and they fit. With a scarf, I don’t have to try to figure out how I need to adjust a sweater pattern to fit over my boobs. They are fast and let you finish and get to your next project. Invariably whenever I start a project I am ready to start the next and the only thing standing in my way is the current project.

Yeah scarves!